TOKYO, Japan — Fast Retailing Co. raised its forecast for annual profit by 20 percent as sales for Uniqlo casual-wear grew more than expected in Japan and its international sales spiked.
Net income will be 120 billion yen ($998 million) for the year ending in August, up from its previous forecast of 100 billion yen, the Yamaguchi, Japan-based company said Thursday. That compares with the 125.6 billion yen average of 18 analysts estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The retailer also upgraded its sales projection to 1.65 trillion yen from 1.6 trillion yen.
Billionaire Chairman Tadashi Yanai wants to make Asia’s biggest clothing retailer the world leader, aiming to hit 5 trillion yen in sales by 2020. Fast Retailing’s priorities are to ensure stable growth for Uniqlo in Japan, while speeding up expansion of its international stores and restructuring the global brands unit, Yanai said in October.
Uniqlo Japan boosted sales of winter items such as ultralight down jackets and has seen strong interest in spring merchandise, as well, Nomura Holdings Inc. analyst Masafumi Shoda wrote in a report before the results. Strong sales were driven by the company’s efforts to diversify its product range and appeal to more customers, he wrote.
By Monami Yui. Editors: Stephanie Wong, Daryl Loo, Brendan Scott.